NASA SBIR 2016 Solicitation


PROPOSAL NUMBER: 16-2 S4.01-8277
SUBTOPIC TITLE: Planetary Entry, Descent and Landing and Small Body Proximity Operation Technology
PROPOSAL TITLE: Ultra Compact Laser for 3D Imaging LIDAR

SMALL BUSINESS CONCERN (Firm Name, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Q-Peak, Inc.
135 South Road
Bedford, MA 01730 - 2307
(781) 275-9535

PRINCIPAL INVESTIGATOR/PROJECT MANAGER (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
Bhabana Pati
135 South Road
Bedford, MA 01730 - 2307
(781) 275-9535

CORPORATE/BUSINESS OFFICIAL (Name, E-mail, Mail Address, City/State/Zip, Phone)
B. David Green
135 South Road
Bedford, MA 01730 - 2307
(978) 689-0003 Extension :8146

Estimated Technology Readiness Level (TRL) at beginning and end of contract:
Begin: 4
End: 6

Technology Available (TAV) Subtopics
Planetary Entry, Descent and Landing and Small Body Proximity Operation Technology is a Technology Available (TAV) subtopic that includes NASA Intellectual Property (IP). Do you plan to use the NASA IP under the award?

TECHNICAL ABSTRACT (Limit 2000 characters, approximately 200 words)
In response to NASA's solicitation for light-weight, power-efficient and radiation-hardened instruments that enable robotic exploration of the Solar System, especially Europa, Q Peak in partnership with Sigma Space proposes to develop a compact and robust LiDAR instrument to assist in the landing/sampling site selection process. Q-Peak's low SWaP and higher energy laser will extend the dynamic range of Sigma Space's LiDAR instrument to > 10 km.
For NASA JPL, Sigma Space completed a design study of potential LiDAR solutions for a lander. It was concluded that the challenging LiDAR requirements could be met with a laser of about 1W average power, using short pulses in the green at a PRF of ~30 kHz. The biggest challenge to this application is the limited mass and the high radiation environment.
Q-Peak proposes to develop a 1-W laser that has a volume < 8 c.c and a weight < 20 g. The SWaP is at least an order of magnitude lower compared to the commercially available laser source. The modular form factor allows the laser to be easily modified to produce different wavelengths by frequency up conversion.
The ultra-compact laser along with the single photon LiDAR will find direct and immediate application on at least two more NASA missions - Restore-L and ARRM. Restore-L is an ambitious endeavor to launch a robotic spacecraft in 2020 to refuel a live satellite in low-Earth orbit and demonstrate a suite of satellite-servicing technologies, potentially including a satellite laser rangefinder using the same laser. The Asteroid Redirect Robotic Mission (ARRM) is designed to send astronauts to visit a large near-Earth asteroid, explore it and return with samples in the 2020s. This is part of NASA's plan to advance new technologies and spaceflight experience in preparation for a human mission to the Martian system in the 2030s.

POTENTIAL NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
NASA remote sensing and LiDAR applications require compact, efficient, reliable, moderate-energy, nanosecond-pulsed lasers. These missions require improved and precision technology from previously flown LiDAR technologies as well as much reduced size, weight, and power (SWaP) given the resource-constrained class of missions likely to use this capability. Missions to solar system bodies must meet increasingly ambitious objectives requiring highly reliable "soft and precision landing", "hazard avoidance", "topography mapping" and "autonomous rendezvous to other satellites" etc. Robotic missions to the Moon and Mars demand landing at pre-designated sites of high scientific value near hazardous terrain features, such as escarpments, craters, slopes, and rocks.
Given the high sensitivity of launch requirements to SWaP considerations and to reliability, we feel that the proposed laser source is uniquely positioned for LiDAR remote sensing and autonomous landing based missions. Other NASA mission profiles or applications that would benefit from generically small, light- weight, low power laser sources would be equally well served.

POTENTIAL NON-NASA COMMERCIAL APPLICATIONS (Limit 1500 characters, approximately 150 words)
An ultra-compact laser source can be used at 1 or 0.5 micron wavelength for LiDAR applications to map and image objects; a narrow laser-beam can map physical features with very high resolution. It can target a wide range of materials, including non-metallic objects, rocks, rain, chemical compounds, aerosols, clouds, and even single molecules. 0.5 mm wavelength penetrates water easily and is useful for bathymetry measurements in shallow water. The proposed laser can be used in the Automotive Safety and Navigation, Geography, Law Enforcement, Meteorology, Mining, Robotics, and Wind Farms markets. Military lasers have reached size and energy criteria but always at the cost of poor beam quality and consequent difficulties in atmospheric propagation for their intended applications. Q-Peak's advantage would be in having developed an ultra-compact, simple, and rugged technology for generation of single mode laser pulses in the green, near-IR, or eyesafe regions. This laser device will be much better suited for fieldable systems than present products with respect to both SWaP and mode profile. When converted to eyesafe wavelength present Department of Defense procurement of eyesafe rangefinder exceeds 2,500 units per annum with a constant need to advance the state of the art and reduce soldier carry-weight and workload. The laser architecture proposed here would have great promise in fulfilling an Urgent Needs Requirement for all branches of the DOD interested in precision targeting.

TECHNOLOGY TAXONOMY MAPPING (NASA's technology taxonomy has been developed by the SBIR-STTR program to disseminate awareness of proposed and awarded R/R&D in the agency. It is a listing of over 100 technologies, sorted into broad categories, of interest to NASA.)
3D Imaging
Analytical Instruments (Solid, Liquid, Gas, Plasma, Energy; see also Sensors)
Autonomous Control (see also Control & Monitoring)
Entry, Descent, & Landing (see also Planetary Navigation, Tracking, & Telemetry)
Image Analysis
Lasers (Ladar/Lidar)
Lasers (Measuring/Sensing)
Navigation & Guidance

Form Generated on 03-07-17 15:43